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Somehow I knew when I decided to skip the makeup and threw my air dried hair in a messy ponytail, that I would see people after all.

The kids have been taking longer than ever to come down the path after school. Today was no exception. The playground had cleared except the Kids Club students who have a recess right after school. My kids were nowhere to be found. The street had cleared of cars and I had pulled up to the front row Joe spot. Still my kids were ever so missing.

Heath was sent home early on the insistence of his new boss. Apparently BART was a snarled mess and she told Heath to leave so he could get home sometime today. One of the tracks broke this morning and trains had been single tracking ever since. With nothing better to do but sit and wait, Heath was texting me. I let him know our kids were missing and we agreed I would have to go find them.

A woman and two girls started walking down the path. One of those girls looked very familiar – like my daughter. But why was she walking with a friend and a mom but not her own brother? Where was he? He wasn’t on the blacktop.

I should have gotten out but I let Gwen walk all the way to the car. She said she didn’t know where Parker was. The plot was beginning to thicken. So we walked up the path to find him. Just as we walked through the gates I saw a kid that looked very familiar – like Parker. But he disappeared behind the multipurpose room.

Gwen’s teacher walked out of her building and stopped on the steps to talk to someone. She waved but I wasn’t sure if she meant me or the visitor. Gwen and I continued on toward the office. When we reached the back office door the secretary announced on the PA system for Gwen to go to the front of the school. We walked through the office to the front desk. The secretary saw us and told us Parker had just walked out the door to meet us out front.

We opened the door and he told me he was talking about homework with his teacher. I had suspected as much. Finally all united, we took two steps and then Gwen’s teacher came up to us.

“I have been chasing you all over! I didn’t know where you went. I told Parker to have Gwen paged.” We quickly discussed how it was just one of those days.

Periodically I would get a text from Heath announcing where he was along his route. He was inching his way home. At one point he said he got on a train and wondered how he would get home from that destination. I wondered if I would have to drive out there to rescue him. It’s a nearby city only about 15-20 minutes from where his car was parked at our BART station! He was able to switch trains to the correct route. And he had a seat all the way home. Usually the train ride home is a standing room only situation.

Gavin texted me that track practice was done soon after I left the house. All the lights were green so I got there in record time. Not that it matters. He patiently waits for me by playing games on his phone. Heath texted me that he was arriving at the station. It only took him over three hours to get home from work today.

He called and asked what we should do for dinner. His tone of voice was saying it was a long day and he wouldn’t mind having someone else cook for us. I told him I was planning on making some broccoli stuffed chicken and pasta. Besides that, nobody was supposed to see me today. My tone of voice didn’t project well enough that if Heath wanted fast food he could just bring it home. Vanity won that round. I cooked dinner and luckily nobody else saw me today!

Heath took Gavin to the office supply store. Gavin wrote a report on the Cold War. The final draft is due tomorrow and his teacher expects it to be in a three ring binder. The paper is four pages long, including the title page! A three ring binder? I found an old flexible plastic folder with three brads. Gavin said it had to be a three ring binder.

All my energy is going into not hating that teacher! She is something else. Gavin said, “That’s why I call her the high expectations teacher.” Indeed. Oh this woman makes me crazy. Some of her assignments are great and then she loses me again with her ridiculous expectations. He’s in the 6th grade for crying out loud! She’s lucky he has involved parents. I read his rough draft for grammatical errors then handed it to Heath to check for historical accuracy.

The Cold War according to Gavin was like reading a fractured fairy tale. I decided to add two extra sentences to the ending. Gavin had ended by saying that the Cold War could have been avoided if we would have just talked rather than intimidating each other. If only life were that simple. But it’s not. Politicians don’t just talk and hug it out. And four page reports must be turned in a three ring binder. Some days are like that. Today was one of those days.

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